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What is your signature dish????

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
What is the thing that you guys find yourself serving all the time? I have a rotation of about 4 items that I use, it seems all the time. I find myself pushing these items because they are easy, cost effective, and very good, people always seem to rave. So I am looking for other ideas that fit the description.

Mine are
Cuban pork black beans and rice and sweet plantains
Cajun chicken pasta
Maui chicken with wild rice

My go to app
is my spinach dip, it has become famous around these parts, when I do a party and it is not there i usually hear from some of the guests who have been to events that I have catered.

Cabanas catering.
post #2 of 19
my signature dish is grilled salmon fillet with fresh spinach leaves & feta. Well, it is for the time as I haven't seen it served up elsewhere as of yet. Quite simple and easy to do as well.
"Heaven sends us good meat, but the Devil sends us cooks.” - David Garrick (1717-1779).
"Heaven sends us good meat, but the Devil sends us cooks.” - David Garrick (1717-1779).
post #3 of 19
I wish i had a signature.
the wife lvoes a few things I do and im never thrilled with what I do.

I liek to tyr alot of things. but i guess.

Garlic mashed potatos
alla vodka sauce
my italian sauce
my chocolate chip cookies
shrimp scampi
stringbeans -it makes me laugh its jsut sauteed in butter and seasoned but everyone loves them

everyone seems to love the stuff. im jsut bored with it. (i think thats my problem), there all simple stuff, I know i do them well and they arent something I created at least idea wise.

but Things im proud of i created

Lava Loaf: meat loaf made in a mini bunt pan filled and drizzeled with a sweet and slightly spicy sauce down the side (kidna looks like a volcano)

Chocolate Cherry White Chocolate chip cookies

my omlettes

but im also just start out.
post #4 of 19
In Boston for me its been New England Schrod/Haddock, Baked Stuffed Lobsters, Clam Chowder, and Grilled Filet Mignon w/ Demi Glace..I've had to mark so many filets this year, I dream about them, literely.
At least the demi is quick to make, only 48 hours, lol. :lol:

Go to app display.

Baked Brie wheel stuffed with balack raspberries and red raspberries, wrapped in puff pastry served with pita points seasond with butter, cumin, garlic, s/p lightly toasted. Cut that open and watch the cheese and berries ooze out , use pita points to dip..Always a fan favorite.:smiles:
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
post #5 of 19

fairly basic foods appeal to the majority

Chicken Marsala or Picatta
Oven poached Salmon with a dill buerre blanc, great hot or cold ( sauce changes to a thinned dill mayo with sour cream)
short grain brown rice pilaf ( sauteed brunoise of red pepper, zucchini, and onion, fresh herbs)
Mixed greens with red onion, candied nuts, cucu half moons, dried fruit (figs, cranberries), and Isreali feta with a creamy citrus vinaigrette.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Chicken marsala, How could I forget about that one!. The best thing is a basic marsal sauce is great for all kinds of meats. I do a seared pork tenderloin with a version of marsala and It goes over great!
post #7 of 19
I use pork tenderloin too, easy to slice and one whack and it is "pounded out", I like it better then chicken... but I have quite a few Jewish clients and they don't the little piggie, more for all of us.
post #8 of 19
My shtick is dessert, often over looked by caterers. How many times have you been to an event and had a good meal that was finished off with something lame like sheet cake or a brownie?
I don’t skimp on the meal, but if we’re talking signature it’s dessert.
I do decorated cakes, but that doesn’t translate well to a plated dessert. I once did a Christmas party dinner where the dessert was large petites fours cut into diamonds that were chocolate with piped scroll work and holly. Usually, though, most folks don’t want to pay $7-10 dollars just for the dessert.
One thing that I do that I always get raves about is a savory sweet potato. Down here folks are used to sweet potatoes being, well, sweet. Roast the potatoes whole, let them cool enough to handle or right down to room temp, squeeze them from the skins and into a baking dish (right into the chaffing pan if you’re doing buffet), dot with butter and throw in some chopped green onions. Cover with foil and back into the oven until everything is up to temp (it can hold in the oven for a while). When ready to serve, smoosh (that’s a technical term) and toss with a fork and sprinkle some cayenne pepper (I have been thoroughly castigated by my girlfriend who first gave me this recipe because she (who under my esteemed recommendation came to play here at ChefTalk) spotted that I had omitted the lemon juice from the recipe. You should add fresh lemon juice during smooshing about ½ cup for a half pan chaffer) and salt to taste.
I don’t care for sweet potatoes at all, but I always get comments, good ones, on this.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Great idea on the sweet potato!!! can you give me any advice on some easy desserts, I am up to here with mini cheese cakes and brownies... I have started doing mini cannolis. they have a nice presentation.
post #10 of 19
My show stopper (visually) is any kind of cake you like with complementary flavored butter cream and or whipped ganache.
Bake a cake or cakes, as much as you need in a square pan. Square because you get more cuts for your buck, but not a sloped sided sheet pan, you lose uniformity. I have 3 inch deep square pans in three sizes 8 inch and up, I use whichever one I need based on the number of desserts that I need and what size they will be.
Whip up the butter cream/whipped ganache
Tort the cake into one inch layers (or thereabouts), 3 inch deep pan yields three layers.
Pick a cookie cutter, any shape will do but ones without a “lip” work best and you can find square, oval, hex, round, heart and even “flowers” in various sizes. Cut out as many pieces of cake as you can. You can skip the cookie cutter and cut diamonds but it can be hard to get them perfectly uniform. (I did a pharmaceutical rep dinner that was for heart medicine and did them heart shaped)
Layer of cake goes on the plate with a star tip pipe “stars” around the perimeter then fill in the center (its going to be covered and the “edge” is all you will see so pretty in the center is irrelevant) and then top with another layer of cake on which you will pipe pretty “stars”. You can zing it with a sauce or bop it with coco or confectioner’s sugar or even add a pretty garnish.
Let them chill in the fridge to set up. If on site do early and let firm up, if going off site they stay fairly firm for a while but transport well only after they have set up.
This is tall and typically causes gasps of delight when placed on the table.
I prefer to do a flavored wash on the cake during assembly but it isn’t all together necessary.

My biggest seller is chocolate cake/raspberry butter cream/chocolate cake topped with whipped milk chocolate ganache.
White cake and lemon butter cream is good, garnish with a fanned strawberry, mint leaves or a lemon “twist”. A lemon/raspberry combo is good too.
Dark chocolate and mint. Chocolate cake and white chocolate ganache. Chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and peanut butter ganache. What ever you can dream up.

Over in the recipe forum I posted a recipe (it’s under the red velvet thread) for a “flourless chocolate cake”, its super easy. Once chilled it slices very clean 16 slices per pan, plated with Cream Anglaise zinged with chocolate sauce and a whipped chocolate ganache rosette on top. I know, a very pedestrian plating but it is a do ahead dessert that can fit the gluten free crowd and is different.

Oh and giant chouxs are perfect for any occasion, just ask any clown(tee-hee). Pipe them big, bake them longer than you think (no don’t open the oven door to check on them) cut the tops off and pipe a sexy flavored butter cream inside (star tip of course) and put their little hat back on at a jaunty angle. Bop or zing and garnish. Chocolate choux does just fine and I even played around with a choux made with apple sauce and cinnamon which would go nice with a brown sugar butter cream. But don’t forget that choux could just be a nice vehicle for berries and cream.
I don’t know if all of this qualifies as easy, I think so, but if you are doing mini cannolis then you can handle this.
post #11 of 19
Strawberry white chocolate mousse in a tuile cup garnished with fresh berries that have been treated to alittle sugar and some liquor.
post #12 of 19

go to menu items

we customize all our menus but there are certainly signature and go to items that reappear frequently.

golden mac and cheese lollipops made with aged pepato provolone

sassy samosas with signature coconut cilantro chutney

caribbean shrimp shooters with absolut vodka, coconut milk and island seasonings

cows in the comforter (kosher hot dogs in pastry blanket with ballpark mustard served in a catchers mitt in a field of wheatgrass

jewels of siam - cucumber crowns with asian filet mignon

thai peanut chicken in lotus cups (basically chicken satay salad without the picks and sticks)

breads and spreads appetizer display - varies but usually includes hummous sunflower and grecian garden dolmati display with feta and red peppers, along with tandoori corn satelite and various cheeses, dips and spreads with housemade flatbreads, housemade crostinis, italian breadsticks and crackers

vietnamese crab and noodle coleslaw in asian takeout boxes

Bow Thai Grilled Salmon with Cilantro Honey Lime Vinaigrette, Haricot Vert, Bowtie Pasta and Cherry tomatoes

those are definitely some of the favorite items that customers seem to love

a combination of comfort food with an attitude and ethnic and adventurous food that is not to far out for the average palate (albeit average NYC palate)

and for dessert the showstoppers are

rivers of chocolate dipping ponds surrounded by delectable dipping goodies including fresh fruit, cream puffs, cookies, rice krispies, honey wholewheat pretzel sticks and much much more

our fabulous nostaglic candy station for the kid in all of us.
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Could you exlpain the mac and cheese lollipops? and the river of chocolate. how do you keep it from setting?
post #14 of 19


mac and cheese cooled down, scooped into ball and coated with panko (can be frozen at this point) and deep fried - use lollipop stick or skewer/toothpick
if you want the balls to be upright lollipop stick is better since they tend to slide down the skewer

but you can also display them sitting on the tray with whatever pick you want to use or none

as for the rivers of chocolate basically can be in a chafer that is hanging off of glass bricks (hard to explain verbally) with votives or sterno underneath (and waterpan)

it's a concept that came out of catersource and is usually credited to Meryl Snow of Feastivities in Philly.

you take glass bricks and make a "fort" and hang various size shallow (half pans, long half pans, quarter pans whatever works for you) chafer inserts with water pans underneath off of the glass bricks

or for smaller events we use a round chafer
or have also used something like a paella pan since it is shallower - and works better for dipping with a low heat source underneath (if you don't have a waterpan, then becareful that the heat source is not too close or too hot)

it's really nice display and works well for a crowd. You use a long banquet table and can put many different kinds of chocolate and caramel for dipping

same concept can be used for a cheese fondue station. There are alot of posts about this on the catersource forum which might explain it better.
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
post #15 of 19
We are known for local food, baked goods from scratch.....

Pulled pork shoulder and sliced loin with our signiture BBQ sauce, apricot chutney, housemade rolls, caramelized onions
I butcher local heirloom pigs.

Mediterranean Meze Platter....Goatsbeard Farmstead fresh chevre with pesto/olives/roasted tomatoes/roasted pinenuts served with pitas
dolmas, cuke sauce, baba ganoush, caponata, hummos, etc
served with crudites, pita chips, fresh pitas, our lavosh.

Wild Mushroom Station or passed mushroom caps with duxelle.....

lemon brulee tarts, chocolate chambord cups, our marshmallows.....mexican chocolate is a favorite....spicy ginger snap cookies,

Being able to work with dietary limitations....glutin free, vegans, kosher.....making products from scratch so I know exactly what goes into them.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
you would be amazed at the ammount of people that dont eat mushrooms or pork down here. Im starting to get worried. Everytime they want green beans they say no pork and Im thinking come on you live in the south!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #17 of 19
It all sounds fantastic, if I ever get to St Louis, where do I go?
I want to make marshmallows, it sounds easy, any tips to make it go smoother?
post #18 of 19
Oooo ... that sounds swell. I love lemony things, adore a good creme brulee ... got a recipe or some prep suggestions or techniques that you'd be willing to share?

post #19 of 19
tart shell....pate sucre or pate brisee
lemon curd
sometimes mascarpone if I wanna creamier tart
then brulee the top at the last minute.....secret is to get a good torch, I got a super one at Home Depot for $35. Amazing how much faster melting sugar got!

No huge secrets Shel......just combining different elements. Calling it brulee refers just to the "burnt sugar" top.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
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